I ignored the image too. I can only guess at why, but here goes:
In traditional media (like a novel or a newspaper article), pictures are illustrations that enhance the text. You can read the text and have all of the meaning, and at any time, you can read the picture.
Usually, when I come to Illustrations, or Block Quotes, or Pull Quotes or those ‘Did you know?’ sections in a magazine article, I go right past it, and make a mental note to come back to it. I prefer to reach the end of a paragraph first, if possible, before I interrupt my reading of the text to study one of these ‘asides’.
So I’m guessing that’s what I did here. So when I got to the end, I was all like “damn, $25? that’s it? I guess this project is at its core just about building things with internet style love afterall…Even so, I feel like I missed something. Let me go back and read again…”
I went back to the beginning (not a very long piece after all). I read it again. “Hmm… I’m guessing this $25 thing is just something you are already supposed to know - some standard FOSS-style kudos I’m not familiar with maybe… or maybe he made some reference in another article on the Blog or the FAQ or something”.
Then I let it go. And I decided to take a look at that image. Not because I thought it had the answer, just because I was done with the text and ready to move on to the ‘good stuff I had saved for last’. “Aha!” and “Ha! Pretty crazy stuff that pony express thing!”
But Jeff’s writing style is 21st century. The non-text media is decidedly part of the content. Its something a modern reader may take for granted. Or maybe not. Either way its fun, and unexpected and some of us just take a little while to catch up sometimes.